Contradictory Messages From PA in Response to Synagogue Massacre

The Fatah movement and Palestinian Authority officials are giving contradictory messages following the murder of five Israelis in a Jerusalem synagogue. While Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas condemned the attack, one of his senior advisors and the official Facebook page of Fatah praised the attack, in which two Palestinians shot and hacked to death unarmed Jews during morning prayers.

Mahmoud Abbas’ advisor Sultan Abu Al-Einain called (Arabic link) the attack a “heroic operation” and referred to the two dead Arab terrorists as “martyrs.”  Fatah parliamentary spokesman Jamal Tirawi stressed (Arabic link) his movement welcomed the attack in Jerusalem and “escorts the Martyrs… to paradise.”

The Fatah official page in Facebook (Arabic link) also celebrated the killings by mentioning on Facebook the people handing out candies in the West Bank in celebration of the synagogue terror attack.

Palestinian leaders and media justified the murder as a response to the alleged killing of an Arab bus driver on Sunday. Although a pathologist’s report revealed no signs of violence on his body and all signs pointed to a case of suicide, Palestinian media depicted the incident as a murder perpetrated by Israelis. In this context, Fatah spokesman Ahmad Assaf said the attack was “a natural response to the recent events” in Jerusalem.

These responses by Palestinian officials and media contradict the official response from Abbas and the Palestinian Authority, which condemned the attack. However, according to a Palestinian Media Watch report:

The official announcement indirectly blamed Israel for the murders in that it went on to demand “an end to the invasions of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the provocations of the settlers, and the incitement on the part of several Israeli ministers.”

Calls on Palestinian social media promoting violence against Jews have increased in recent weeks.

Palestinian social media has praised these attacks. When Palestinians drove their cars into crowds of pedestrians, these attacks were hailed as as the new “martyrdom operations.” After terrorists stabbed two Israelis to death, Hamas celebrated “Palestinian knives day.” A recently released video by Fatah, showed terrorists training for the “destruction of Israel.”

Abbas and others in the PA’s leadership have called numerous times recently for a “day of rage.” Secretary of State John Kerry criticized this incitement yesterday in the wake of the terror attack.

[Photo: Cabint Office / Flickr]